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Formula 1

Raikkonen sets new benchmark as McLaren woes continue

Ferrari's position as a legitimate rival to Mercedes was further cemented as Kimi Raikkonen lit up the timesheets in Barcelona while McLaren laboured.

Raikkonen sets new benchmark as McLaren woes continue
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Kimi Raikkonen set the fastest time of Formula One pre-season testing as Ferrari continued to lay down a marker in Barcelona, while there was yet more misery for McLaren

Having seen team-mate Sebastian Vettel record the fastest time in testing on Thursday, Raikkonen became the first driver to go under one minute and 19 seconds.

The Finn posted a time of 1:18.634 at the Circuit de Catalunya, 0.490 secs clear of Vettel's effort from Thursday.

That run came on super-softs, and he could not improve on it on a subsequent attempt on ultra-softs, despite again breaking the 1:19 barrier.

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Toni AlbirEFE

Verstappen, Sainz and Bottas out of the blocks

Red Bull's Max Verstappen recorded his fastest lap of testing, crossing the line in 1:19.438 on the super-softs, but was still 0.804 secs adrift of the flying Finn.

Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz (1:19.837) was third-quickest in the session, just ahead of the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas (1:19.845).

While the positives keep on coming for Ferrari, who appear primed to challenge Mercedes' recent dominance of F1, McLaren remain in the headlines for all the wrong reasons

McLaren red flags

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Toni AlbirEFE

McLaren's continued reliability issues were the cause of two of the morning session's four red flags.

Fernando Alonso ground to a halt on the entrance to turn 10 after just over two hours, with second breakdown coming at turn four on an out lap half an hour later.

A problem termed by McLaren as an "intermittent electrical shutdown" restricted Alonso to 19 laps. Stoffel Vandoorne had been hampered by the same issue on Thursday.


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